Tom Hanks has endeared himself to the movie going public with funny and poignant portrayals such as that of Forrest Gump and Chuck in Cast Away. He is back in a role that seems tailor made for him in A Hologram For The King.
The movie adaptation of the book by Dave Eggers, which was listed as one of the 10 Best Books of the Year by the New York Times in 2012, brings Hanks to Saudi Arabia as Alan Clay, a middle-aged salesman who is trying to close the deal of a lifetime while his personal life is falling apart. He is on a mission to offer a holographic teleconferencing system to the Saudi government and is met by culture shock as he experiences a world so much unlike his American suburban life, where the dry desert gives way to a life of lush luxury that most men can only dream of.
To navigate his way towards his deal, he is aided by a wise-cracking taxi driver (Alexander Black), who provides the perfect foil to Hank’s wry, deadpan type of humor. He also meets a beautiful doctor (Sarita Choudhury) who treats him while he is in the throes of an anxiety attack and ends up healing his heart.
The movie, megged by writer-director Tom Tykwer, takes a scenic route through the Middle East, giving the audience a glimpse of the Kingdom through the eyes of a stranger in a strange land. Hanks’ character is extremely like-able, and the audience will root for him as they did in movies past.
A Hologram for The King is showing in Philippine theaters on June 1, and is exclusively distributed by OctoArts Films International.